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Subject: ARC Requests approved against CC&Rs
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Author Messages
CariM
(Florida)

Posts:2


09/18/2019 4:00 PM  
A former BOD approved many (31) equipment screening fences that are solid and white. Current standard says only allowable are picket or lattice style. I personally like the solid fence. At what point, does the standard become null? If they have approved over 30 that are against the standard, it would seem to me there is a new standard.
TimB4
(Virginia)

Posts:16481


09/18/2019 7:24 PM  
Have you submitted a request and had it disapproved?
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2701


09/19/2019 10:02 AM  
And why have you waited until now to bring this up? I'm sure those other fences didn't come up overnight...
CariM
(Florida)

Posts:2


09/19/2019 2:18 PM  
I have put in a request and it has been denied. I am new to the BOD so quite frankly didn’t pay too much attention to standards and others home improvements until now. I think the ones that were approved look nicer than a lattice or picket style and do a better job screening the equipment. My question is at what point does a new standard come into existence from the fact that a multitude of requests with that look have been approved against the current standard. Same can be said about roof shingles. We only have one listed in the standard, but previous boards have approved 4-5 various colors consistently. Which again to me are nice and they were using common sense to approve them, but does that by default change the standard? The current bid is very hard line and won’t update the standard or approve anything tlike what is already there and got approval. We only have 176 homes. So 30 approvals is a significant amount in that size neighborhood. IMO. I am curious if any other associations have run into this type of thing.
SheliaH
(Indiana)

Posts:2701


09/19/2019 4:10 PM  
If you have community standards for certain exterior features like fences, the ideal way to change them (at least to me) is to poll the community to see what they think about the current standards. The board might also talk to a few contractors and see what the trends are (e.g. is everyone going for solid style because it's more durable and perhaps provide more privacy?) From there, you can develop some changes and present those proposals to the community. Since the designs are in the CCRs, you'll likely need homeowner approval and so the board would have to pursue that.

What usually happens (as you can see) is that previous boards might approve things that are different from the standard because that's what the trend is and perhaps they don't want to start a brouhaha by insisting on what's in the CCRs. As you said, the board may have looked and said yup this IS a nice style of fence - or they don't know what the CCRs say and denied your request. OR they've decided from this point on, they will apply the CCRs as written - just as you made your request.

In my opinion, this is why it's better to keep the CCRs simple. Instead of dictating specific colors and styles, simply state exterior changes must be preapproved by the board. It can then pass resolutions that flesh out what type of style, height, color, material, etc., will be approved. After a few years, they can poll the community again to see if the standards need to be tweaked again and start the process all over again.

Thus, CCRs and Bylaws become the living documents they should be - some things remain the same, but there's enough flexibility to allow the board and homeowners to adapt to whatever changes are going on in their community.

Now, there isn't a standard timeline in which the new approaches is seen as the standard forever more (until another board changes things around). sometimes this stuff ends up in court where a judge might say "I don't care what the board did before, this is what your CCRs state and you will apply and be happy about it" or "well, you've approved 20 other fences similar to this and they don't meet the CCR standards, so I rule this is the new standard - the plaintiff can build the fence and the board needs to go somewhere and sit down somewhere."

If you're set on the type of fence you want, you could start with filing an appeal to the board and make your points at a hearing (check your documents to see how that's done if your denial letter didn't mention it). During your hearing, you can make the same points you've done here, noting that if the board is going to go with a new standard, it really should work to adjust the documents accordingly. If they still say no, you'll have to consider how far you want to go to pursue this. Do you file a lawsuit or rally your neighbors together to push the board to reverse the decisions or push to amend the documents. Have fun!
PestY


Posts:0


09/20/2019 6:19 AM  
Posted By CariM on 09/19/2019 2:18 PM
I have put in a request and it has been denied. I am new to the BOD so quite frankly didn’t pay too much attention to standards and others home improvements until now. I think the ones that were approved look nicer than a lattice or picket style and do a better job screening the equipment. My question is at what point does a new standard come into existence from the fact that a multitude of requests with that look have been approved against the current standard. Same can be said about roof shingles. We only have one listed in the standard, but previous boards have approved 4-5 various colors consistently. Which again to me are nice and they were using common sense to approve them, but does that by default change the standard? The current bid is very hard line and won’t update the standard or approve anything tlike what is already there and got approval. We only have 176 homes. So 30 approvals is a significant amount in that size neighborhood. IMO. I am curious if any other associations have run into this type of thing.




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